Our Theory of Change
Monitoring and evaluation play a
vital role in conservation. It tells us how much progress we are making towards
our goals and ultimately if our actions are making a difference. Equipped with
this information, we can make better decisions about what works and what we
need to do differently.
The importance of evaluation to
our training programme is no exception, however, it is uniquely challenging.
Unlike the outcomes of many of our other conservation actions, the outcomes of
training can be much more difficult to define and measure. In 2016, we set out
to overcome these challenges and develop a system that systematically evaluates
the difference our training programme makes to individuals and their work (a project generously funded by the Balcombe Trust).
To do this, we first created a theory of change, i.e. a model that describes the pathway of change we expect from an individual completing a training course to achieving conservation goals. The purpose of this theory of change is to guide the evaluation process, enabling us to identify what we need to measure at each step, in order to evaluate progress and success.